UMMS Affiliation

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine; Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Circulatory and Respiratory Physiology | Nucleic Acids, Nucleotides, and Nucleosides


BACKGROUND: Circulating microRNAs may reflect or influence pathological cardiac remodeling and contribute to atrial fibrillation (AF).

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify candidate plasma microRNAs that are associated with echocardiographic phenotypes of atrial remodeling, and incident and prevalent AF in a community-based cohort.

METHODS: We analyzed left atrial function index (LAFI) of 1788 Framingham Offspring 8 participants. We quantified expression of 339 plasma microRNAs. We examined associations between microRNA levels with LAFI and prevalent and incident AF. We constructed pathway analysis of microRNAs' predicted gene targets to identify molecular processes involved in adverse atrial remodeling in AF.

RESULTS: The mean age of the participants was 66 +/- 9 years, and 54% were women. Five percent of participants had prevalent AF at the initial examination and 9% (n = 157) developed AF over a median 8.6 years of follow-up (IQR 8.1-9.2 years). Plasma microRNAs were associated with LAFI (N = 73, p < 0.0001). Six of these plasma microRNAs were significantly associated with incident AF, including 4 also associated with prevalent AF (microRNAs 106b, 26a-5p, 484, 20a-5p). These microRNAs are predicted to regulate genes involved in cardiac hypertrophy, inflammation, and myocardial fibrosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Circulating microRNAs 106b, 26a-5p, 484, 20a-5p are associated with atrial remodeling and AF.


MicroRNAs, Atrial fibrillation, Blood plasma, Cardiovascular disease risk, Apoptosis, Phenotypes, Fibrosis, Gene expression, UMCCTS funding

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Copyright: © 2020 Vaze et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Vaze A, Tran KV, Tanriverdi K, Sardana M, Lessard D, Donahue JK, Barton B, Aurigemma G, Lubitz SA, Lin H, Nasr GH, Mandapati A, Benjamin EJ, Vasan RS, Freedman JE, McManus DD. Relations between plasma microRNAs, echocardiographic markers of atrial remodeling, and atrial fibrillation: Data from the Framingham Offspring study. PLoS One. 2020 Aug 19;15(8):e0236960. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236960. PMID: 32813736; PMCID: PMC7437902. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PloS one


Full author list omitted for brevity. For the full list of authors, see article.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.